Using the experience of cotton sector reform in four major African cotton producing countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Mali), this paper examines ways in which local political, social and economic factors affect policy processes, and policy-makers’ incentives to improve agricultural sector performance. Countries’ ability to overcome challenges is due less to the adoption of a particular set of policies – more or less privatization, greater or lower competition – than to the nature and characteristics of the underlying policy process. If a country’s local realities can sustain coordination among actors, and structure their incentives in ways that are favorable to the good management of the sector, then outcomes are more likely to be positive – whether the country has adopted significant reform, as in Burkina Faso, or more limited change, as in Cameroon. There is no unique set of best factors; rather, there are clusters of factors that seem to work better under some political conditions than others.
Serra, R. APPP Working Paper No. 23. Policy-makers&#8217; incentives and policy trajectories:Comparing cotton sector reform in four African countries. Africa Power and Politics Programme (APPP), London, UK (2012) 28 pp.